Yes, I feel very lucky! Woohoooooo!! This summer I’ll be in France, well I guess I should say in Europe, for two whole months. Leaving June 1 with my students for a trip all over Europe for 23 days, then my husband and kids are going to come over and meet me there and we’ll stay until August 2. But what am I gonna do???? Charlene!!!! I’m so sad you can’t help me chaperone this year. Just to fill everyone in, I usually can afford to bring along a chaperone on these trips. Darn economy.
So what’s on the agenda? With the students we’re going to London, Amsterdam, Munich, Innsbruck, Venice, Florence, Rome, Paris & Madrid. Can’t wait to go to Amsterdam and Madrid, those will be new destinations for me! Maybe I can get some suggestions on how to deal with eleven 17 year old boys in Amsterdam??? Eh……. ok. So I already told them that we could go IN a coffee shop, but that we WON’T be placing an order. And I told them that we would walk THROUGH the red light district, but that we won’t be placing any orders there either. We’ll see how that goes!
When the guys go back to St. Louis we’re gonna have some real vacation time. 6 weeks of relaxation….or at least some relaxation. About a week or so in Paris, then it’s off to the south for the rest of the time. This year we’re not taking the train. We’ve decided to rent a car for four of the six weeks we’ll be there. It’ll be easier to get around that way. CANNOT wait….. Just 13 more official days of school, we’ll just not count those exam days. Now… All I need to focus on is losing 10+ pounds before I go. Yeah, right. Keep repeating mantra: Real women have curves, Real women have curves. Everyone say it with me now: Real women have curves.
See, if we were living in France, my kids wouldn’t be hungry for dinner at 6:00. We wouldn’t be having dinner until at least 7 or 7:30. BUT, they wouldn’t go to bed at 7:30 either! So it’s a trade off. Hectic around here at 5:00 trying to figure out what to cook for dinner but so worth it when Maman et Papa have adult time in the evening.
So, dinner. What’s it gonna be? We made a lavish trip to Whole Foods this weekend so the frigo is plein à craquer.
I’ve just about psyched myself into preparing “Steak au Poivre” à la Julia Child. Pretty sure we’ve got everything it takes. Sure would taste great with some homemade freedom fries but I used all of the patates last night. Will have to make do with a ratatouille….NEVER a bad choice. Unless I decide to sauté some ‘shrooms instead. Yes, that’s it. A sauté of mushrooms and a full-bodied red are a fine match! Bon appétit!
….hours later….. Ok so I decided to go with the ratatouille. Mushrooms disappeared somewhere. Set the table in the backyard. Gotta enjoy these cool St. Louis nights while we can. Soon the mosquitos will attack.
Oh heaven forbid…. 4 o’clock is creeping up slowly and I’ve obviously forgotten about the goûter. My kids are going to riot. The goûter. The God-given right to all children big and small. 4 o’clock snack. Don’t be mistaken, the goûter is not to be had at 3:45 or even at 5 till 4. Nope, they don’t call it the “4 heures” for nothing, and today my darlings, Maman has forgotten. Off to Panera we go, unless I can come up with something better on the way home. Think maybe I have some slice-n-bakes in the frigo.
A little about me… I’m from Louisiana, which may somehow explain my obsession with all things French. Not living there anymore, moved away when I was 23 to see what it was like “away from the south”. If anything, I’ve come to have a much greater appreciation for most things southern than I ever had when I was living there. I’m living in the big middle of the midwest in the great city of St. Louis. Some will say that St. Louis is a small town, but if you come from a place somewhere in Louisiana that isn’t even considered a town and doesn’t have a post office… St. Louis is pretty damn big. Ok Louisiana people, especially those who know me. YOU may be from a town, but I’m from a community. A community that has only a gas station (with some darn good boudin, if I may say so myself) and a golf course.
Been living here in ole St. Louieeee off and on since ’96. In the meantime I’ve managed to earn a Master’s degree in French, get married to a very sexy Parisian, procreate a mini-me troop of three, live in Béziers, France (mediterranean coast, west of Montpellier), come back to St. Louis to be a high school French teacher, and the list does go on… More about all of that later.
I decided to get started on this blog when I realized that this American-French lifestyle I live certainly isn’t unique to me. When you fall in love with someone from another country, there’s way more to it than what you can see when you say “I do”, or just “Oui” as I did at our wedding in France. There are the first days, before the days of real jobs and children when you seem to focus entirely on perfecting, as in my case, the French language. Then there are the little cultural differences that make life very interesting. And then…. drum roll…. And then you have the kids. What a pleasure, yes I’ll agree there’s nothing quite like being a parent. This is, after a certain number of years of marriage, the time when you’re really going to make it or break it. Of course I know that’s true for all married couples, probably with or without children, but boy let me tell you something. Raising the kids the international way, growing up in America with a very French lifestyle, speaking only in French at home with the kids…. Now in my mind, this is the stuff good blogging is made of! So if anyone actually clicks on this link, even by accident, I hope you’ll enjoy.